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Choosing a day-trip destination that will please your campers can be challenging, but there are many wonderful options in the Boston, New York and Philadelphia areas. Traveling a short distance from any of these hubs provides great day-trip choices. Everything from beaches and hiking trails to mansions, museums and shopping await the curious adventurer.

 

Rockport, MA

Rockport Visitor Center
Upper Main St. (Rt. 127)
Rockport, MA 01966
(978) 546-9372
www.rockportusa.com

Travel about one hour north of Boston and arrive in the historic town of Rockport, full of activities that will keep you and your campers busy. Enjoy one of the pristine beaches, tour a historic lighthouse, visit a museum or enjoy an outdoor ocean activity like sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, diving, seal watching or whale-watching tours. There are two great state parks — Halibut Point State Park and Hillbrook Meadow — where visitors can enjoy a picnic or take a leisurely walk. Galleries within Rockport are also stocked with local artists’ work like jewelry, wood creations, watercolors, ceramics, pottery and fiber art.

 

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Newport, RI

www.discovernewport.org

This seaside town is about 1 1/2 hours south of Boston and features a 3 1/2-mile Cliff Walk along the coastline where visitors can witness the natural beauty of the ocean and the architectural splendor and history of the magnificent Newport mansions. The mansions are a main attraction in the town and offer visitors a glimpse of the grandeur of the Gilded Age. Other outdoor activities in the area include tennis, golf, bird-watching and enjoying the abundant and magnificent beaches at every turn. Everywhere visitors look, there are yachts and other sea-worthy vessels to watch and enjoy.

 

Bear Mountain State Park

3006 Seven Lakes Drive
Bear Mountain, NY 10911
(845) 786-2701
www.nysparks.com/parks/13/details.aspx

Traveling just over an hour from NYC brings you to this 5,205-acre state park, where the scenery is breath-taking. There are 40 acres creating the Trailside Museum and Zoo, where visitors can enjoy a collection of rescued animals, reptiles, a geological section and an American Indian exhibit. Guests can travel a portion of the Appalachian Trail while visiting the Bear Mountain State Park. Hiking, biking and cross-country skiing are popular modes of transportation. Winter visits also mean an outdoor skating rink. The Perkins Memorial Tower at the top of Bear Mountain offers spectacular views of the entire park. There is even a merry-go-round that features 42 hand-carved seats including a black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, Canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, rabbit and others.

 

Governors Island

New York Harbor
1/2 mile from the southern tip of Lower Manhattan
New York, New York
(212) 440-2200
www.govisland.com

Day trips to Governors Island require a seven-minute ferry ride from the mainland dock. Governors Island offers beautiful green spaces, picturesque NYC skyline views and shady spots to escape the city sun and humidity. The island has a plethora of activities during the peak summer season. There are poetry festivals and Jazz Age lawn parties featuring music, games and fashion from the 1920s and 1930s. A round of mini golf and lunch at one of the picnic sites makes for a fun visit. Playgrounds, ball fields and hammocks in which to relax are sprinkled around the island. Cars are not allowed on the island, but there are about five miles of bike paths to navigate and enjoy. Bike rentals are available. There are also open studio art shows featuring artists’ residency program artwork.

 

Sesame Place

100 Sesame Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 752-7070
www.sesameplace.com/en/langhorne

Everyone loves Sesame Street, especially when the TV show, literally, comes to life. This fun-filled, children’s theme park is about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia and 1 1/2 hours from NYC. There are enough activities to keep the entire family busy and entertained for the day. There are rides like Flying Cookie Jars and Honker Dinger Derby and water rides like Slimey’s Chute and Sky Splash. There are musical shows like Elmo the Musical-Live at Sesame Place! and there is the Neighborhood Street Party Parade, which features everyone’s favorite characters and 11 enormous floats to enjoy as they pass by.

 

This article was written by Nancy Burgess of Examiner.com for CBS Local.

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